When we think about language today, we think of the language we speak and we think of communication. Of course there are certain governing bodies do tweak language by setting up punctuation and working out other minor details. Language just seemed to have happened over time. and people accept it for how it is.
No one ever thinks about the negatives of our structure of communication. How many have even considered a complete overhaul of our communication system altogether? How many even see any negatives in our communication system to begin with? I’m going to give you three reasons why our modern language is bullshi’t.
There are Too Many Languages
I’m not even going to try and guess or research how many languages, sub languages and slang languages OF languages there are, but this is seriously a problem. How can we possibly begin to communicate with each other with so many languages in the world? People have pride in their “native” language, I get it, but for what? Okay, it represents all these cute, cultural meanings and personal experiences, but it isn’t effective.
It isn’t effective to have so many languages in the world. They just came to be, it wasn’t like someone forced them upon people, but the change won’t happen because of cultural pride and attachment. I speak two languages and wouldn’t mind if my second language was done away with completely. Less is more efficient in this context.
A whole business revolves around these different languages too. Translators, document translators, job advantages for bilinguals, etc. If slowly, we begin to do away with all these different languages and merge them into one, the world would run a little bit smother.
Not too long ago, numbers weren’t universal. Now, our current numbers are universal. They still use different style numbers in the middle east and Asia, but the numbers we use in the USA are widely recognized. This makes for much less confusion. Imagine if there were as many number systems as there are languages in the world? How screwed up would that be?
If an international team gets together and enforces language the same way, countries and cultures would be able to communicate a lot more efficiently, with ease. Imagine going to France or Norway and being able to communicate effectively with people in that culture or community. How much easier would vacations be?
Language is Subject to Interpretation
This is probably the biggest one that effects all language. All language (except math and chemistry) are subject to interpretation. Words like “good”, “bad”, “smart”, “strong”, “pretty”, “ugly”, “best”, “better”, “worse”, “worst” are all subject to interpretation. This is really hard for some people to accept, but we each have our own standards of each word. Most people even generalize with such words.
For example, I can be telling a friend of mine that I think a certain celebrity is “stupid” and instantly, my friend tries to interpret what I mean by “stupid” by associating it with their interpretation of the word. I can say someone is stupid for not going to school and missing out on an education, but someone else can say that same person is stupid for going to school because they can spend that money to buy property, which is a better overall investment. The word “stupid” here is up to interpretation by the background of whoever is using it.
If I say I saw the most BEAUTIFUL girl today, whoever I’m telling the story to will imagine what they think beautiful looks like to them. If I say “Jim is a nice guy”. It tells you nothing about him, but you will begin making associations automatically as to what a nice guy is and project that onto Jim. Words like “rude” as well have no direct meaning.
What would the word “rude” mean? People will often define it by relating it to a certain situation like “someone who doesn’t hold the door for you” or “someone that doesn’t say thank you”. In some cultures, people don’t say thank you and no one is offended, so you can see the problem here.
Now think of math and chemistry. Those are languages that are not subject to interpretation. I can show someone a math problem and not have to give them an analogy to understand it. When scientists show each other chemistry equations, they don’t interpret them differently like “I think it means this..” “No no! I think it means that!” It wouldn’t be effective at problem solving. Yet, we do that on a casual basis, without even realizing it day to day.
Modern Language is Hundreds of Years Old
Language originated because of our complex, human vocal chord. We can make and mimic so many different sounds. Over the years, simple sounds evolved into complex sentences and descriptive communication. From the ambiguous Shakespeare days to the modern day text book, language has been changing.
Our language, however, isn’t changing as drastically as our lifestyles are. Technology, fashion, society, nature, everything is changing so quick, but our language is still under developed. Passively speaking, we accept the problems of modern language as just a part of life, but the problem is, our quality of life can be improved by more effective communication.
I don’t know how this can be done because I never really thought about it, but I think if an international linguistics team was formed to chop up language and make it more efficient, I’m confident they can create a universal standard. Creating an international standard, like they have established with numbers, is a start. We still have a long way to go, but a start is better than a stagnant limbo.
How do you guys feel about our current language today? Do you agree or disagree about change?